Art That Sells – Understanding What Makes Art Marketable

The art world is a vast and diverse industry that encompasses a wide range of styles, mediums, and techniques. While some artists create purely for the sake of self-expression, others create with the intention of selling their work.

For those who fall into the latter category, the process of creating art that sells can be a challenging and complex endeavor.

One of the most important factors in creating art that sells is understanding the market. This involves researching current trends, identifying target audiences, and determining appropriate pricing strategies.

Additionally, artists must be willing to adapt and evolve their style in response to changing market demands. While this may seem like a compromise of artistic integrity, many successful artists have found ways to balance commercial viability with creative expression.

Types of Art That Sell

When it comes to making art that sells, there are several types of art that tend to be more popular among buyers. These include fine art, illustrations, sculptures, photography, digital art, woodworking, drawings, and abstracts.

1. Fine Art

Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat

Fine art is a popular type of art that often sells for high prices. This type of art includes paintings, drawings, and prints that are created by skilled artists.

Fine art can be created in a variety of styles, including realism, impressionism, and abstract.

2. Illustrations

Illustrations are another type of art that can sell well. Illustrations are typically created for books, magazines, and other publications, and can include anything from simple line drawings to complex digital illustrations.

3. Sculptures

Sculptures are three-dimensional works of art that can be made from a variety of materials, including stone, metal, and clay.

Little Dancer Aged Fourteen

Sculptures can range in size from small figurines to large outdoor installations.

4. Photography

Photography is a popular type of art that can sell well. Photographs can be created in a variety of styles, including black and white, color, and digital.

Photography can include anything from landscapes and portraits to abstract and conceptual images.

5. Digital Art

Digital art is a type of art that is created using digital tools and techniques. This can include anything from digital paintings and illustrations to 3D modeling and animation.

6. Woodworking

Woodworking is a type of art that involves creating objects out of wood. This can include anything from furniture and sculptures to decorative objects and toys.

7. Drawings

Delacroix drawing study

Drawings are two-dimensional works of art that are created using pencils, pens, or other drawing tools. Drawings can range in style from realistic to abstract.

8. Abstracts

Abstracts are a type of art that is characterized by its non-representational or non-objective nature. Abstract art can include anything from geometric shapes and patterns to more organic and fluid forms.

Abstract Painting

In conclusion, there are many different types of art that can sell well, depending on the market and the preferences of buyers. Artists who want to make art that sells should consider exploring different mediums and styles to find what works best for them.

Finding the Right Market

When it comes to selling art, finding the right market is crucial. There are several options to consider, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Online Marketplaces

Online marketplaces such as Etsy, Amazon, and eBay have become increasingly popular for selling art. These platforms offer a large audience and a relatively low barrier to entry.

However, competition can be fierce, and sellers may need to invest time and effort into marketing their products to stand out.


Galleries can provide a valuable platform for artists to showcase their work and connect with potential buyers. However, getting accepted into a gallery can be challenging, and the commission fees can be high.

Commercial Gallery

Additionally, galleries may have specific requirements for the type of art they are willing to display.

Home Decor Stores

Home decor stores can be a great option for artists who create pieces that are functional as well as aesthetically pleasing.

These stores often have a specific style or theme, so it’s important to research and target the right stores for your art.

Online Retailers

Online retailers such as Wayfair and Overstock can provide a wide audience for artists who create home decor items.

However, competition can be high, and these retailers may have specific requirements for the type of products they are willing to offer.


Advertising can be a valuable tool for artists looking to sell their work. Social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook offer targeted advertising options that can help reach a specific audience.

Additionally, print advertising in art magazines or local newspapers can also be effective.

Overall, finding the right market for your art requires research and careful consideration. By exploring different options and targeting the right audience, artists can increase their chances of success.

Marketing Your Art

As an artist, it’s not enough to just create great work. You also need to market your art effectively in order to reach potential buyers and make sales. Here are some tips for marketing your art and building your brand:

Art Fair

Building Your Brand

Building a strong brand is key to marketing your art successfully. Your brand should reflect your style, personality, and values as an artist.

This includes your logo, website, social media presence, and any other materials you use to promote your work. Consistency is important, so make sure your brand is consistent across all platforms.

Targeting Your Audience

Knowing your target audience is essential for effective marketing. Consider who is most likely to be interested in your work and tailor your marketing efforts to reach them.

This might include targeting specific demographics, interests, or geographic locations.

Pitching Your Work

When pitching your work to potential buyers, it’s important to be clear and concise. Focus on the unique aspects of your work and why it’s valuable to the buyer. Be prepared to answer questions and provide additional information as needed.


Professionalism is key to building a successful art career. This includes everything from your communication with buyers and galleries to your pricing and presentation.

Make sure your work is presented in a professional manner and that you are responsive and reliable in your interactions with others.

Marketing your art can be a challenging process, but with the right strategies and approach, you can reach a wider audience and increase your sales. Keep these tips in mind as you work to build your brand and promote your work to potential buyers.

Maximizing Your Sales

Creating Art That Sells

To maximize sales, artists must create artwork that appeals to a wide audience. While it’s important to stay true to one’s artistic style, it’s also important to consider what is popular and what people are willing to buy.

For example, artists may want to consider creating artwork that fits into popular design trends or themes.

Inspiration and Creativity

Inspiration and creativity are essential for creating art that sells. Artists should stay up-to-date with current events, trends, and popular culture to create artwork that resonates with buyers.

Additionally, artists should experiment with new techniques and materials to keep their work fresh and exciting.

Online Auctions

Online auctions are a great way for artists to reach a wider audience and maximize sales. Platforms like eBay and Etsy allow artists to sell their work to buyers all over the world.

To be successful on these platforms, artists should create high-quality listings with detailed descriptions and high-quality images.

Art Prints

Selling art prints is another way for artists to maximize sales. Prints are less expensive than original artwork, making them more accessible to buyers. Artists can sell prints through online retailers like Society6 or by creating their own online store.

In conclusion, artists can maximize their sales by creating artwork that appeals to a wide audience, staying inspired and creative, utilizing online auctions, and selling art prints. By following these tips, artists can increase their visibility and reach a larger audience.